Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Jane Austen Book Club Movie Review

Sometime ago (December 1, 2007 actually) I stated that I wanted to learn more about Jane Austen. Mostly because my father is a huge fan of Jane Austen's novels. So I mentioned that I would be joining the Jane Austen Challenge. Today (while I was waiting for the new employer to contact me) I watched the movie The Jane Austen Book Club. Based on the Book by Karen Joy Fowler.

I did not expect to enjoy it. The blurb says that it was about 6 people talking about their present day lives, and my thinking was - how exactly does that have any connection to Jane Austen's novels?

Well I ended up enjoying the movie very very much. This group of 6 people (5 women, and 1 male) read one of Austen's books each month and then get together to discuss it.

Briefly, Bernadette has been married 6 times. She's the matriarch of the group.

Jocelyn is a dog breeder and has never been married. She prefers to stay alone. She has many personal walls and refuses to allow anyone to breech them. Her best friend is Sylvia.

Twenty years ago, Jocelyn briefly dated Danila Avila, and then for some reason, gave Daniel to Sylvia. Daniel and Sylvia got married and had 3 children. At the beginning of the movie, after 20 years of marriage - they were breaking up, because Daniel had met another woman.

Prudie is a French teacher at a high school. She is married, but her husband seems to not be listening to her. He had told her that they were going to Paris on a business trip, so Prudie purchased books about Paris. Then the husband (Dean) says that the boss gave the trip to another guy in the company and Dean gets to take some VIPs on a basketball trip instead. Prudie is immensely disappointed. She has an affair with one of her students. Her mother comes to stay, but is so disorderly, that Prue sends her home. The mother dies barely 4 months later.

Allegra is Daniel and Sylvia's daughter - age 19 and a lesbian. She is still exploring her sexuality. She falls in love easily and has two (different) partners during this movie.

And the last member of the group is Grigg (not Greg). Grigg is a sci-fi enthusiast. He loves reading sci-fi. He also has his own online business - which seems to make quite a lot of money - and yet he still chooses to work as a tech support person. He falls in love with Jocelyn. But Jocelyn stays closed up and keeps trying to pair Grigg off with Sylvia who is going through her marriage breakup.

Every month the group reads one of Austen's novels and then they get together to discuss it. I learnt a lot about Austens novels. Such as who all the main characters were, how they interacted and reacted with each other, who was in love with whom, and who hated whom. It was fascinating.

You could call this movie - Cliff's Notes to Jane Austen's Novels.

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